After publishing my last post, my dad emailed me a link to Carl Hart’s high-quality TEDMED talk.
That video (well worth watching, if you care about the drug addiction issue) reinforces the credibility of my last post to encompass expertise in the form of experiencing the serious poverty stressor, and the scientific understanding of drug addiction matching my reasoning.
My only constructive criticism (that I will try to promptly address with Mr. Hart) is his three-part solution includes decriminalizing all drugs (like Portugal did back in 2001 — apparently without societal detriment through this very moment btw), so being caught possessing an illegal drug leads only to a fine instead of doing time.
Decriminalization does nothing to address drug abuse. Even a small fine (and lightly tarnishing credibility in the form of a criminal record that apparently would still exist) can negatively affect seriously poor folks (e.g. prevent financial aid, negate employment opportunities, work against a very tight budget, etc.), and the illegal stigma still works against positive education by people such as yours truly — e.g. seemingly encouraging illegal activity, while actually trying to prevent tragedy for public safety. Due to illegal status, actual (not prohibitionist-driven junk) scientific research is more difficult to come by, because the judicial branch (with serious financial incentive to demonize illicit drugs) still inappropriately remains a biased gatekeeper of scientific access. Decriminalization also does nothing but reinforce an internationally serious set of problems involving the black market for illicit drugs.
Full legalization is the only ethical and logical solution. Illicit drugs can be inexpensively made, so the price point comes way down upon legality (logically reducing the pressure to steal in order to secure the money for buying the obscenely overpriced drugs due to black market forces). Moreover, gangs in seriously poor communities can leverage that powerful profit margin from selling illicit drugs to buy military grade weapons against public safety and good governance (e.g. honorable police officers). Finally on this front, legality puts control of the drug market in the hands of law-abiding business owners held accountable for selling destructive products against public safety. A hardware store owner, for example, probably loses business for selling drugs such as heroin due to the negative public opinion spreading throughout the community, so likely wisely leaves such sales to dedicated stores inclusively helping customers diffuse their drug addiction problem (all involved to maintain community credibility needed for better living, if not survival). People like credibility to reduce purchase risk (that’s why positive branding works so well), so will likely lean towards their pharmacy for such purchases, because that’s where the credibility likely remains.
For full legalization to work right, accurate and entertaining education (including legal drugs such as alcohol) needs to continuously spread (e.g. as part of my Stress Health entertainment project/framework), so demand for risky drugs falls (as demand for tobacco products continues to already fall, despite their legality). Full legalization does not include encouragement to inappropriately engage in risky behavior, as is grossly publicly assumed these days (thus my boldness). For prime example, even a reverse psychological “meh” approach to drug intake within the age group naturally asserting independence (the masters of ‘adults say no, so we say hell yeah to the extreme partying degree’) — i.e. teenagers — makes the most sense.
Mr. Hart recognized the drug abuse stressor comes from the poverty stressor (not the other way around), but now it’s time to understand that the poverty stressor (at least too often) comes from the law abuse stressor, which comes from the reason abuse stressor (e.g. mainstream media still dominantly and journalistically unethically supporting Certain Drug Prohibition). This is where my meticulously crafted (and fully logical to negate the psychologically typically instant dismissal ‘jump shot’ towards the ‘trash can labeled absurdly idealistic’) Liberty Shield introduction to scientific constitutionalism makes equal sense. As a scientist himself, I remain confident that Mr. Hart would likely appreciate taking the tried-and-true aspects of the scientific method (as verified at least by technological advancements) and apply them inclusively by verbal logic (i.e. leverage the objective power of certainty — with verbally logical constructs on par with mathematical ones) to powerfully reinforce the original (and only sanely) intended purpose of our Constitution — to prevent law abuse.
In short, the public needs to address the drug prohibition addiction problem, before capable of maximally addressing the drug abuse problem, and that starts with a sufficiently powerful public intervention to convey to our relevantly addicted public servants that they have a serious addiction problem and need to seek help immediately for eveyone’s benefit — and that starts with (and righteously grows with) your amply-appreciated support.